Why do dental cracks occur?

Teeth are structures that perform or help to perform many functions, achieving harmony between the oral cavity and the whole body.

Tooth enamel is particularly hard and resistant to the forces that always tend to undermine it.


Among these, the mechanisms that can act on the enamel and weaken its strength are:

  • Foods and liquids consumed at extreme temperatures – whether hot or very cold, liquids and foods that are used at extreme temperatures damage the strength of enamel prisms.

  • Forces that are not transmitted to the tooth shaft – during function, large forces develop in the oral cavity that are transmitted further through the teeth to bone structures. Ideally, the forces should be transmitted along the teeth, so as not to create levers that overload the teeth and change their position.

  • Various pathologies – whether local pathologies occurring during intrauterine development which lead to changes in the quantity or quality of enamel, or general pathologies which, however, have an impact on the oral sphere, should not be neglected as they can lead to enamel and dentine defects.

Enamel is harder than bone, but it is also exposed to the external environment and to various factors that can undermine its strength.

Daily wear and tear or pathologies such as bruxism can cause loss of the enamel layer, resulting in reduced thickness.

Dental cracks can occur due to harmful habits or factors such as:

Constant chewing of foods with increased hardness can lead to microcracks in the enamel structure, which become visible over time.

Bruxism – also known as teeth grinding, bruxism can cause alterations in several regions of the oral cavity and even in the temporomandibular joint.

It is a complex condition that requires a complex approach, because the damage is multiple and bruxism itself can be difficult for the patient to recognize and sometimes difficult to treat.

Repetitive, minor trauma to the teeth – low intensity but constant knocking of the teeth with various objects or even tongue piercing can lead to enamel cracking over time.

Sudden temperature changes inside the oral cavity – alternating cold-hot coffee and ice or similar foods can lead to enamel damage.

Oversized restorations resting on thin walls of enamel.

Teeth that have had endodontic treatments in the past are more brittle. A tooth that loses its vitality is more susceptible to damage from the strong forces exerted in the oral cavity. Thus, depending on the intensity of the forces generated, the tooth will fracture or crack.

Cracks can occur anywhere in the teeth, especially where the enamel layer is thin and the stress factors are concentrated.

Cracks, like dental fractures, do not heal by themselves, which is why it is important that the patient sees a dentist as soon as possible for diagnosis and specialist treatment.

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